Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am not invincible

Being sick again felt so much of an inconvenience too me, not wanting to stay home from work, not wanting to have anyone think that I am any less capable of being a full-time psychologist than any other regular non tube feeding girl.

I spent hours negotiating with myself, M, and my parents, whether I should go to work today (Easter monday is a public holiday over here, so no work duties yesterday). I had a horrible night, coughing, sniffing, tossing and turning, and yet I got up this morning determined to go to work.

I made it for four hours before deciding that I would be better off at home :-).

Yes, I know, I am not invincible. I should have stayed home in the first place, it's just so difficult for me having had so many sick days this year already :-(.

Off to see my family physician now.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sick. Again.

I don't know what's going on with my immune system. In the past six weeks I have had a flu, a cold that turned into sinusitis, and now, only three weeks after the start of my last cold, a cold again that is most likely on the fast track to actually being sinusitis again.

Inbetween having "real" colds, I was having really bad pollen allergies, no wonder my sinuses are in bad shape. I am home at my parents with M and I was looking forward to a wonderful, relaxing easter weekend. Instead I have been asleep most of the day and everyone keeps commenting on how pale I am, no wonder - I feel like sh.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

I got it!!!

At the beginning of March I posted about my very first job interview as a full time tube feeder, as I still need another 6 month internship for my neuropsychology degree.

I knew that they wanted me, but I still had to jump through a few bureaucratic hoops before I could relax knowing that that position was going to be mine.

All last week I have been waiting to receive THE letter from the nether austrian government giving me the permission for my internship. Oh the anxiety of checking my mailbox every day and the disappointment afterwards....

But today the called me, and I got it!!!!
I will begin June 1st. This means that I will work at my current hospital until May 20iest, then I will be off to Portugal for a week with M, and then I'll start working at the new hospital in P.
I am so glad. You have no idea what this means to me. It means not being without a salary (albeit small) until September (when I originally I would have been able to start with a second internship), I will be insured, I will have my degree completed earlier, and I will be able to start a family sooner!!!

In other news, I fell while riding my scooter today. Actually, I fell when I was not even really riding yet.... It happened in the middle of the sidewalk of a very busy touristy street, lots of people just gawking at me, only one girl came to help me up and ask me if I was all right.
My hand really hurt in the beginning, and I am sure I will get a nasty bruise on my hip, but at least I didn't break anything.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What made me smile today

I have been treating Mr. A for the past five weeks for his severe memory impairments and visual field defect. His semantic memory is impaired, making it difficult for him to retrieve old memories, although this is slowly coming back, but he also has a hard time making new memories or re-learning things that he used to be able to do. He is high functioning in his deficits and he definitely is able to form new memories, but still he is impaired.

He can't read anymore and so he sits around most of the day and just wait for his therapies, rounds, meals, visits ... for the day to be over. Seeing his face lighten up when I pick him for therapy is priceless.

Today, he pondered about what day of the week it was (temporal relations are not easy for him to grasp), and I told him it was Tuesday. He then started thinking that if today was Tuesday and tomorrow was Wednesday and he was going to go home this Thursday, this would mean that I would only get him for rehab one more time. On our way out the door he started shaking my hand and thanking me and telling me that he would remember me for a very long time.

This coming from a patient with severe memory impairments made my day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My PEG/J and my very good looking stoma

M took some photos of my PEG/J yesterday, and I have realized that have not yet posted pics of my new tube. Even though I was so disappointed when I had to give up my low-profile button tube for the PEG/J, I am now actually really liking it.
My tube is a Fresenius Kabi 15 FR PEG with a 9 FR intestinal tube threaded down the PEG into my jejunum. This set-up is also called a JET-PEG. Yes, I admit, the adapter for both the G- and the J-part is humongous, but I got used to that too.

I have always had pretty bad leakage with my G-button, partially from feeding into my stomach (the pressure always goes the path of least resistance, in my case out through the stoma...) and also from the balloon style tube that simply doesn't seal off the stoma as well as my current PEG that has a bumper on the inside. I had a few issues after switching to the new tube, as my stoma first had to tighten around the tube (always used to have an 18 FR), but with the help of my beloved medihoney that went quite well. Then I kept having really dry skin around my stoma site, until I realized that my stoma was now so "dry" (as in not leaking anymore) that I no longer needed the zinc barrier cream I had been using for over a year. Now all I put on is a bit of St. John's wart oil (good for my excema, and I tend to get excema round my stoma if I am not careful) and some Eucerin creme for atopic dermatitis (excema) on the skin around my stoma that tends to get really dry.

Here are a few photos:

 I know the color is kind of off, hard to believe
that that tube used to be clear in the beginning

 Stoma up close.



My tube, waistpack, and I :-)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sick and tired

I really ended up getting a bad cold. So instead of making our way through multiple furniture stores in preparation of our big move in July, I spent most of the weekend in bed, cuddled up with the cats.

As it happens I had also developped tendonitis in my left foot from scootering too much (oh, I know, I like to overdo things...), at least now with being sick I don't feel as disappointed that I have been banned from scootering and running for a week.

I have no idea what's up with my immune system. In the past three months I had two UTIs, 1 flu and now a cold.... I guess working at a hospital doesn't make it any easier - so many germs there.

Due to the perfect timing of my cold I have no idea if the steroid injection is working or not. I received the injection Tuesday evening, supposedly plasma levels are reached within 24-48 hours. Thursday night I was still in full blown allergies and Friday I came down with the regular cold. Plus, I have not been outside at all since Friday....
Still keeping my fingers crossed that I will see major improvement.